United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss for Failure
to State a Claim upon Which Relief Can Be Granted (Doc. 35)
filed by Defendants Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Inc. d/b/a
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; Our Lady of the
Lake Physician Group, LLC; Franciscan Missionaries of Our
Lady Health System; Dr. Melissa Watson; Dr. Warren Trask; and
Dr. Sudheera Rachamallu. Defendants seek an order from this
Court dismissing Plaintiffs claims, which relate to
Plaintiffs involuntary admission to Our Lady of the Lake
Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Specifically, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs claims are
premature because Plaintiff has failed to submit her claims
to a medical review panel as required under Louisiana Revised
Statutes section 40:1231.8(B)(1)(a)(i). Plaintiff, who is
proceeding pro se, failed to file a timely
memorandum in opposition to the Motion. For the reasons
explained herein, Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to
Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim upon Which Relief Can Be
Granted (Doc. 35) is GRANTED.
the period between November 12 and December 5, 2014,
Plaintiff alleges that she was involuntarily hospitalized at
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
("OLOL") in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in violation of
multiple state and federal constitutional provisions and
various state and federal statutes. (Doc. 22 at Â¶ 25). Plaintiff
has filed suit against twenty-two Defendants, seeking $425,
000, 000 in damages and nine distinct forms of injunctive
relief. (See Id. at pp. 14-18).
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Our Lady of the
Lake Hospital, Inc. d/b/a Our Lady of the Lake Regional
Medical Center; Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group, LLC;
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System
(collectively, "OLOL Defendants") violated her
"federal and state protected rights" because the
entities (1) "involuntarily hospitalize[d] [Plaintiff]
contrary to law, " (2) failed to "property] train
. . . personnel, (3) failed to "establish . . .
policies and procedures that adhere to federal and state law,
and (4) failed to "ensur[e] that patient rights . . .
are upheld and not violated." (Id. at ¶
¶ 12-13). Regarding the individual physicians who have
brought this Motion (collectively, "Physician
Defendants"), Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Melissa Watson
("Dr. Watson") withheld documents from Plaintiff,
"stonewalled [Plaintiff's attempts to be discharged,
" and made certain comments regarding Plaintiffs
decision to prohibit persons associated with OLOL from
contacting her family, thereby violating Plaintiffs
"federal and state constitutional protections and law[s]
created with the intent of protecting confined individuals
from abuse of power." (Id. at
¶¶38-44). According to Plaintiff, Dr. Warren Trask
("Dr. Trask") "intimidated [her] with forced
medication and civil commitment if she did not consent to
OLOL . .. contacting her family [, ] in spite of his
acknowledgment that [Plaintiff] has a legal right to decline
familial consent." (Id. at Â¶ 27). Further,
Plaintiff asserts that Dr. Sudheera Rachamallu ("Dr.
Rachamallu") "knowingly falsified at least one of
[Plaintiff]'s medical records." (Id. at Â¶
motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint
against the legal standard set forth in Rule 8, which
requires "a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Claims of immunity also may be raised
in a Rule 12(b)(G) motion to dismiss. See Brown v.
Miller, 519 F.3d 231 (5th Cir. 2008).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'"
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). "Determining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief [is] a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense." Id. at 679.
"[F]acial plausibility" exists "when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678.
complaint need not set out "detailed factual
allegations, " but a complaint must contain something
more than '"labels and conclusions' or 'a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.'" Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555). When conducting its inquiry, the Court must
"accept all well-pleaded facts as true and view
those facts in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff." Bustos v. Martini Club Inc., 599
F.3d 458, 461 (5th Cir. 2010) (quoting True v.
Robles, 571 F.3d 412, 417 (5th Cir. 2009)). "[T]he
tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations
contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal
conclusions, " and therefore "[t]hreadbare recitals
of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice" to survive a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
a "pro se complaint is to be construed
liberally with all well-pleaded allegations taken as true,
" a pro se plaintiff nevertheless must plead sufficient
factual matter that supports her claim to relief in order to
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Johnson v.
Atkins, 999 F.2d 99, 100 (5th Cir. 1993). "Even a
liberally construed pro se civil rights complaint,
however, must set forth facts giving rise to a claim on which
relief may be granted." Id.
Rule 12(b)(1), a claim is '"properly dismissed for
lack of subject-matter jurisdiction when the [C]ourt lacks
the statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate' the
claim." In re FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Prods. Liab.
Litig., 668 F.3d 281, 286 (5th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Home Builders Ass'n v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d
1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998)). The Court may dismiss an action
sua sponte if it "determines at any
time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). When analyzing whether it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction over a claim, the Court utilizes
the same standard that it applies to a motion to dismiss
under Rule 12(b)(6). Benton v. United States, 960
F.2d 19, 21 (5th Cir. 1992).
Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust the
requisite state administrative remedies before filing this
suit, and therefore Plaintiffs suit shall be dismissed as
premature because the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction
over this matter.
to Louisiana Revised Statutes section 40:1231.8(B)(1)(a)(i),
a plaintiff may not bring a malpractice "action against
a health care provider ... in any court before the
claimant's proposed complaint has been presented to a
medical review panel." La. Rev. Stat. §
40:1231.8(B)(1)(a)(i). "Malpractice, " under the
statute, consists of "any unintentional tort or breach
of contract based on health care or professional services
rendered, or which should have been rendered, by a health
care provider, to a patient, and also includes all legal
responsibility of a health care provider arising from acts or
omissions ... in the training or supervision of health care
providers." Id. § 40:1231.1(A)(13). A
"health care provider, " under the statute, is
"a person, partnership, limited liability partnership,
limited liability company, corporation, facility, or
institution licensed or certified by this state to provide
health care or professional services as a physician [or]
hospital." Id. §40:1231.1(A)(10). When a
person is admitted involuntarily to a treatment facility
pursuant to an emergency certificate, Louisiana law - often
referred to as the "Mental Health Law" - requires
physicians and medical facilities to undertake certain
procedural measures both before and after a person is
committed to the treatment facility. See id. §
28:53; see also Prisk v. Palazzo, 95-1475, p. 6
(La.App. 4 Cir. 1/19/96); 668 So.2d 415, 418 ("[T]he
Mental Health Law imposes special duties on physicians and
hospitals before confining a patient for treatment.")
The special requirements that are imposed on physicians and
medical facilities by the Mental Health Law "are the
standards [that] ...